Debt crisis could usher 13% cement consumption drop

Inaction by Congress and the White House on the federal debt ceiling could derail the fragile U.S. economic recovery, spurring a second recession and adversely impacting cement shipments, according to a recent Portland Cement Association report. A federal default stemming from the absence of a higher debt ceiling would affect business, consumer and bank confidence, leading to a rise in interest rates and the likelihood of forced government austerity spending measures. Such moves, in turn, could depress highway and other government construction programs at the federal and state level.

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Watson takes helm at Cemex USA, joins Monterrey executive committee

As part of a global management realignment around six regional units in mid-March, Cemex, S.A.B. de C.V. named Karl Watson, Jr., president of Cemex USA in Houston. He had served as Eastern region president, based in West Palm Beach, and is the top Rinker Materials Corp. executive to have transitioned to Cemex USA.

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Cemex begins supplying 500k+ tons for Panama Canal expansion

Cemex has begun supplying cement as part of its contract to provide over 500,000 tons of cement to “Consorcio Grupo Unidos por el Canal,” the primary contractor for the Panama Canal expansion project. The contract represents an integral phase of the Canal expansion project, which includes two locks, the excavation of access channels to the new locks, and the widening and deepening of navigational channels.

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Cement production hits 28-year low

The U.S. Geological Survey reported its final 2010 domestic cement statistics, confirming the historically weak consumption levels in Portland Cement Association forecasts. Last year saw about 61 million tons of portland cement and 1.8 million tons of masonry cement produced at 102 plants in 36 states, plus two plants in Puerto Rico. Overall production was the lowest since 1982 and reflected continued plant closures or indefinite shutdowns.

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